Brian McBride is a Columbus Crew legend. Nobody can ever take that away from him.
But it seems increasingly likely that the Columbus Crew will be taken away from Major League Soccer.
With current Crew owner Anthony Precourt pushing ahead with his plans to relocate the franchise, one of the 10 MLS originals, to Austin, Texas now that the 2017 season is over, it is unclear what lies in store for Columbus’ future.
Speaking to ESPN’s Max and Herc pod earlier this week, USMNT legend McBride doesn’t believe they’ll be in Columbus for much longer.
“I’d love to see the Crew in Columbus. I honestly have to say that that is sadly not looking like it’s going to be possible (to keep the team in Columbus). When you read the (MLS) commissioner saying, ‘Well, you can apply to have a new franchise,’ all those things sort of tell me the writing’s on the wall. And that’s a shame because it is an absolutely awesome city,” McBride said.
“People are like, ‘Oh, it’s Middle America.’ There’s great things to do, it’s very much a family town but even if you don’t have a family you can still have a lot of fun. For me, it’s incredibly near and dear to my heart because I became a man there and I learned how to measure my being a professional soccer player and to having a life outside of soccer and then of course marrying my wife and having my family be a part of the city is very much something that will always be there.”
McBride also revealed he had spoken to a high-ranking official with the team and told them they messed up by not telling the supporters first about their plans and what was going on behind-the-scenes, then he slammed Major League Soccer when asked if it was also their fault.
“What I know is just what I’ve read. If (what has been written is true), I think they have a part to play, too, because they knew this was going on and they knew that they were building something to allow this to happen,” McBride said. “That doesn’t sit well with me because it’s in Columbus, but it also doesn’t sit well with me if I was a supporter of a different club.”
It is hard to argue with any of what McBride is saying here. The former Columbus, Fulham and Chicago Fire forward has hit the nail on the head.
Of course, he has a strong connection to the Crew after making his name in Columbus from 1996-2004 before moving to the Premier League and going on to become one of the greatest strikers in USMNT history.
McBride is airing the views of MLS fans across the country who aren’t happy, at all, with the way the situation has been handled by the ownership group in Columbus and also by the league office.